The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Sunday, July 12, 2009


June 6th started really back in June of 2007 when Brother Tim vowed to the folks of Santa Marta that he would return with a medical team for the area. The work in earnest started in November of 08 to make that happen. And happen it did! Not exactly how we all thought it would, but it happened just as God had in mind, and His plan is always best (we should know that by now, right?) The preparations for a medical campaign are enormous and quite critical to its success. Co-ordination on many fronts is a must, and Tim did a great job of getting us all on task. With God as the boss, and Doyne as right-hand man, how could he not?

For our part, we were responsible for translators, purchasing team foods, and benevolent foods, as well as transportation and accommodations. These preparations, combined with preparing for the first team, the third team, and taking care of the church here made me a little stressed at times. Because of that, and a few other minor problems, I have not written in some time. I apologize.

Now, as for the work in Santa Marta, we left here on Saturday morning @6:00 with Team 1, dropped them at the bus station in David, along with part of team 2 that was from here (Yari, Eric, Rachel, Kirvyn, Marta), then headed to Cocle Province. It is a 6 hour drive from our house. So we said goodbye to one group and hello to the next just 24 hours later. Bittersweet.
Along with those mentioned above, there were 6 others who came from our province – Gilberto, who preached, Ana, who taught the children’s class, Kathy, their daughter, Brux, who led singing, Ponce, who also preached and evangelized, and Urian, who translated.
From the States came Doyne, his lovely (and smart) wife, Margaret, one of the hardest workers I know, LaJeana, with her most beautiful daughter, inside and out, Hannah, and son, Perry. Matt stepped out and made his first mission trip as our only pharmacist, and was, absolutely perfect for this type of work. Dr. Bill Coutts from Lakeview, and Stephony Robinson from Tennessee completed the team. I have to tell you, only God could have brought this group together. There were so many ways we could have not meshed - we were all overworked, tired, hot, stinky, and I know personally that most of us have the potential to be…cranky, but God put things together just right, and we worked well together all week, without incident, other than much shared love and respect for each other. It was truly an amazing team and I would love the opportunity to work with any of them again.
We saw 729 patients according to my records, but Doyne was doctoring at the gate some (when we could not see another patient for the day), and there were house-calls, so that my count could be as much as 30 or so off. Each of those patients was able to see a doctor, be checked for reading glasses, and given a pair if needed, received medications as needed, as well as vitamins and parasite medicine, then sent to the church building for a bag of foods that would feed them for about a week, and invited to evening meetings. This was the first time that our beloved community of Santa Marta had ever had a medical clinic, and this one in the name of our Lord and Savior! What an evangelism tool!
While every member of the team was perfectly fit for the job, I have to say how impressed I was with Perry Chapman’s heart and attitude. He never quit smiling – even while he cleaned the ‘outhouse-type’ toilets. He spoke little Spanish but needed little as his smile spoke volumes about his faith. He was quite an inspiration to me, and to many others. I will pat my self on the back at least to say I chose (or rather God chose) perfect translators for this difficult trip. They were super! The week was tough, but wonderful. I am certain that God was glorified by the way in which we worked, and no-one should ask for more than that!

Thank you to all who sacrificed and helped to make this trip happen. There are too many to mention, but you know who you are.
I will be moving on to our trip to Arkansas, and the third group when I return…
Love you all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer 09 Blessings

What a time of missions and fellowship! We have been quite busy preparing, then enjoying several mission trips this summer. Let me take a few minutes to share some of the highlights:

On June 1rst we welcomed a group of dearly loved brothers from Riverside in Gassville. Holly, Dane, Pam, Clay, Caleb, Brittany, Dirk, April and Abby Grace came and spent a week working with the children from our local school, El Valle. They brought great stories of the miracles God has done, along with crafts, laughs and lots of love. We watched Dane (who thinks he is still a kid) jump roping until he could barely walk, and Clay and Caleb rapping and beat boxing to an enthralled group of kids daily. We saw Pam at her best (whenever she is teaching) and Holly in her comfort zone (she really should be living here) We got to watch Abby Grace’s eyes widen with the newness of this culture, and then, just fit right in, playing with the kids. Dirk was the man with the camera – and he took some most excellent photos. April enjoyed the kiddos and spent time loving on them all. It was an absolutely amazing week! I think the best part for me personally was seeing Lynn and Dane just sitting and enjoying each others company. When I think of the shortcomings of our life here, the opportunity for fellowship with (English speaking) believers is near the top of the list. (Some of you thought I would say Diet Dr Pepper – ha! Fooled you!) Seriously, this is especially true for Lynn, who is still struggling with the language. And to make it perfect, for it to be someone like Dane, whom we have known and loved for years was the best blessing. Thanks Dane! Thank you all for coming and sharing your love with these precious children, and their teachers. We will probably never fully know the impact your sacrifice has made. And a special thanks to Holly, our ever-faithful friend, who does all the hard work to make it happen!

I could write loads more about this week, but would never get on to the second team – and I wouldn’t want you to miss hearing about that!!!!

More tomorrow….